Poppy Seed Chicken

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Poppy seed chicken is a classic comfort food recipe – so classic that every recipe I’ve ever seen for it calls for canned, condensed cream of chicken soup. While I’m not hyper-vigilant about never using convenient items, those soups are one thing that got banned from my kitchen years ago.

Honestly, I haven’t missed them at all! Making a homemade cream of… substitute is so easy. I think it tastes about 100 times better and it’s definitely healthier since I control the amount of salt.

This recipe is my version of Poppy Seed Chicken, minus the can! And it is delicious – rich and creamy and everything a comfort food should be.

Poppy Seed Chicken

Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Course: Main Course
Keyword: chicken


  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 stalk celery or 1/4 onion, diced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup pepper
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3-4 cup cubed, fully cooked chicken (about 1 lb.)
  • 1 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 1/3 cup crushed crackers (saltines or buttery crackers)
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted


  • Melt 1/4 c. butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add diced celery or onion. Cook for 2 minutes. Stir in salt, paprika, pepper and flour. Cook for another 2 minutes.
  • Slowly pour in milk and chicken stock. Whisk or stir continuously until it comes to a slow boil. Simmer until thickened to a condensed cream of soup consistency. Remove from heat. Stir in sour cream, cubed chicken and poppy seeds. Transfer to a small casserole dish.
  • In a small bowl, combine crushed cracker crumbs and 2 T. melted butter. Sprinkle over casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until bubbly.


This tastes great as a stand alone main course with side dishes, or served over rice or mashed potatoes.